When the defending champions of a league take on a newly promoted side, one expects nothing short of demolition of the latter. The same can be said about Real Madrid’s La Liga curtain raiser.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side take on UD Almeria at the Estadio del Mediterraneo and will look to capitalise on Barcelona’s early slip-up. With the Blaugranas dropping points in the very first matchday, it is the perfect chance for Los Blancos to walk away with an early lead.
Ahead of the game against the Andalusian club, Ancelotti’s lineup for the night has been revealed by the club.
Unsurprisingly, Thibaut Courtois starts in goals after a solid display midweek. The Belgian international is guarded by a central defence combination of Nacho and Antonio Rudiger. For the latter, it is his first official start in the white colours.
Flanking the centre-backs are Lucas Vasquez to the right and Ferland Mendy to the left respectively. Needless to say, it is a vital clash for both fullbacks given that both players are not guaranteed starters.
In midfield, the manager has selected a combination of youth and experience. Toni Kroos starts on the night after a stellar display midweek. He will be supported by young Eduardo Camavinga and the debutant Aurelien Tchouameni in the middle of the park.
Captain Karim Benzema starts as the central striker on the night. Vinicius Jr takes the second spot in the forward line as he starts on the left wing. The lineup is completed by Federico Valverde on the right wing.
Official Real Madrid lineup:
VaZquez . Militao . Rudiger . Mendy
Camavinga . Tchouameni . Kroos
Valverde . Benzema . Vinicius
Real Madrid maintain full confidence in Turkish starlet despite injury woes
Arda Guler’s Real Madrid stint has not gotten off to the start he would have hoped to have given the expectation that preceded the transfer.
Having joined in the summer after Real Madrid outbid their competition to win him over from Fenerbahce for a 20-million-euro fee, buzz was high as the winger was expected to slot into the team quite seamlessly, albeit on a rotational basis.
Unfortunately for the 18-year-old, he has been constantly marred by injuries since completing the move.
Reports have stated that after Guler picked up his third injury since his move, Real Madrid have been concerned and want to take things slow with the player to ensure he is fit as soon as possible after an injury to his quadriceps this time.
The Turk is yet to make his competitive debut for the club, and Real Madrid even sacked their medical chief in November, in light of their injury crises since the beginning of the season.
No loan deal for Guler
However, according to Fabrizio Romano in a recent YouTube video, he states that Madrid maintain full trust and patience in the youngster.
Despite his bad luck with injuries, the latest of which he is scheduled to return from after Christmas, the Galacticos have no intention of loaning out Guler to Turkish clubs despite lots of speculation of them doing so of late.
Romano states that Madrid remain firm on not shaking things up too much with the squad, and they want to keep their roster stable, including Arda Guler.
They want to extend their full support and protection to the player as he aims to return to full fitness and finally make his bow for Madrid either by the end of this month or in 2024.